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US Oncology Applauds Journal of Clinical Oncology Study Highlighting Value of PET Scans for Cancer Patients With Various Types of Malignancies
Date:5/1/2008

National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR) Study Showcases the Need to Expand Use of PET Technologies in Driving More Effective Cancer Treatment

WASHINGTON, May 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- US Oncology, which supports one of the nation's largest cancer treatment and research networks representing approximately 1,200 oncologists nationwide, applauded a national study appearing in today's Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO) that demonstrates the value of positron emission tomography (PET) scans for treating patients with ovarian, prostate, pancreatic and other types of cancers.

PET scans are commonly used for the diagnosis, staging and restaging of cancers as well as the monitoring of tumor response to treatment for Medicare patients with nine types of cancers covered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS): breast, cervical, colorectal, esophageal, head and neck, non-small-cell lung, thyroid, lymphoma and melanoma. By providing images of cancerous changes at the molecular level, PET scans for these types of cancers have given physicians the ability to detect developments that can be undetectable with routine medical imaging and have become a powerful tool in fighting cancer.

CMS's Coverage with Evidence Development (CED) policy helps it determine its Medicare coverage policies for select promising technologies; the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR) was developed in 2005 to meet CED coverage requirements for PET scans and to assess how fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET affects patient care. The JCO study, which reports the first-year NOPR results on the impact of PET scans on patients with noncovered cancers, showed that PET resulted in a 36.5 percent change in treatment decisions for these patients -- and that the impact of PET seems to be greater than the impact of body computed tomography (CT) scanning when it was introduced 30 years ago.

"The NOPR project itself represents a new benchmark for cooperation betwee
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SOURCE US Oncology
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